The European Tour unveiled a new “Final Series” on Sunday that it hopes will keep the yearlong Race to Dubai relevant heading into the season-ending event in Dubai.
Beginning in 2013, the $30.5 million Final Series will consist of the BMW Masters, the WGC-HSBC Champions and inaugural Turkish Open – each of which will feature 78-man fields – before the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
Players must compete in at least two of the three Final Series events to be eligible for the 60-man season-ender. Those who participate in all three will receive a 20 percent bonus in points.
“The Final Series will bring even more drama and excitement to the conclusion of our season and further enhance the Race to Dubai,” European Tour CEO George O’Grady said in a statement.
This move was in part a reaction to what transpired this season, with world No. 1 Rory McIlroy clinching the Race to Dubai with two events remaining on the schedule. Prior to this week’s event, Luke Donald described the atmosphere in Dubai as “anticlimactic.”
McIlroy, however, injected some excitement into the proceedings with his performance in the final round, where he birdied the last five holes to win, giving him two titles – tournament title and yearlong title – on the 18th green on Sunday.
“We did examine the FedEx Cup proposal and whether we imitated the PGA Tour, but our system is cleaner,” O’Grady said. “The world’s No. 1 player is winning the Race to Dubai. That’s the way it should be.”
The European Tour is also moving back to a wraparound schedule next season. The 2013 season, in fact, begins in two weeks, at the Dec. 6-9 Nelson Mandela Championship in South Africa.
Details on the entire 2013 schedule can be found here.